The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

Published July 26, 2019

The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

Book info

  • Title The Slap
  • Author Christos Tsiolkas
  • Year 2008
  • Genre Contemporary

At a suburban barbecue one afternoon, a man slaps an unruly boy. The boy is not his son. It is a single act of violence, but this one slap reverberates through the lives of everyone who witnesses it happen.


As I started reading this, I suddenly wondered why it all felt familiar and then I realised, I’d seen the TV show. I genuinely can’t remember if I’ve read this before, but as I started turning the pages, it all started to come back to me. I like the format of the book, bringing the story along through the eyes of a different character for each part, each adding their own viewpoint and problems to things.

However, that also means there’s a lot going on that doesn’t really mean or add anything. Harry’s extra-curricular activities. The night that Gary went totally missing. Almost all of Manoulis’ chapter. That last one was particularly tricky, because it came just after the outcome of the hearing - so you’re sort of thinking, is it all over? What about the second half of the book?

Overall, it’s good though. An interesting story, raising some moral questions, and offering a glimpse of many different lives and how they weave in and out of each other.

Rating: 3 / 5

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